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Showing posts with label bristol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bristol. Show all posts

Swallows and Amazons at the Bristol Old Vic - review...

Last Thursday evening we took the boys to see Swallows and Amazons at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre.  Each year we love to see a Christmas production, and this was the first time we had taken the boys to see something in the main theatre at the old vic.

Wow, what can I say?  Swallows and Amazons is truly an epic adventure.  The set, was initially sparsely decorated with a few boxes and a small orchestra set up.  As the story was told, it transformed to sailing the high seas, to island camps and pirate shanty's.

Completely absorbed in the well know story by Arthur Ransome,  I kept looking over to Charlie and Rufus to see their reaction.  Rufus sitting far forward into his seat as if to jump up and join in.  He whispered, "Mummy, that lady is from 'Grampa in my Pocket on the TV'".  Charlie asked if I could make him a feather headdress like the Amazon's and said he'd join their crew.

Swallow and Amazons is perfect, the much loved story has been adapted in such a way that old and young alike will love it.   

The dream sequence is just magical.  Oh and don't forget to attack!

I urge you to go this Christmas.  For more information and tickets pop over to the The Bristol Old Vic website.

Images by Simon Annand.
We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this review.

Decking the halls... (a weekend round up)...

So it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.  Saturday we walked to our local garden centre and collected our Christmas tree.  A change to usual tradition of chopping down our pine.  But walking in the sunshine down our local high street, through the park to collect the tree was magical none the less.  A new tradition perhaps.

We are extremely lucky living in this part of Bristol. In fact living in Bristol is pretty special all round.  Our local high street is full of independent shops, a florist, a natural health shop, a deli, green grocers, craft, a gallery, two theatres, and many many cafes and restaurants.

Just wandering down this short little road we managed to source or Christmas tree, pick up natural deocorations for the tree and eat freshly roasted Chestnuts.  It was pretty awesome.

Saturday night, the street came alive once more with our annual lantern parade.  Local schools, community groups and neighbours all marched the route following the samba band and carrying their own handmade paper lanterns.  It was such a fantastic night.  The boys ran among the crowds laughing with their friends.  The procession ended in a local park with an amazing firework display.

Last night, the Clifton Suspension Bridge celebrated it's birthday - 150 years old.  With a huge fireworks display.  You can watch it here.

Thank you Bristol, you are pretty amazing.

Festive Fire Competition Entry

Papersmiths, Bristol...

I love magazines (a slight obession).  I especially love those independent publications, printed on thick beautiful paper.  Magazines full of well written articles accompanied by perfect images. Thoughtful original content totally floats my boat.

So, this sunny afternoon, I spent an hour happily wandering around this beautiful shop. Papersmiths. Owners Sidonie Warren and Kyle Clarke recently moved from their previous shop (Something Else) to a brand spanking new space in Clifton Village, Bristol.  After weeks of hard work renovating, painting and woodworking - the much anticipated shop was opened a few months ago.

Papersmiths stock beautiful independent magazine publications like the popular Kinfolk, Frankie, Smith Journal, Cereal Magazine and some lesser know magazines like Nourished, Lula, Violet, and the Bristol based Another Escape plus masses more.

Not only that, they also sell stationery from Hay, cards, books for children and adults, perfect scissors, washi tape, succulents in hand thrown ceramic pots.  

The whole place is a stationery and print lovers delight.

I came away with plenty of Christmas gift ideas.

Crimson fields....

Sometimes you just have to stop the car.  Pull over, jump the gate and go play in a field of poppies.  Charlie didn't want to leave, nor did I.  Neither of us had seen poppies on such a scale... such a sea of red.  Beautiful, breathtaking and memory making.  Heavenly!


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Charlie: His hair is getting so long... he won't let me cut it. Stating that he likes it like this. 

Rufus:  Enjoying a lamb burger with mint & feta pesto. It was delicious.  The first time I've seen him happily eat salad too!

Both of these images were taken at our local annual arts trail. What a weekend. The UK has had some glorious weather, and our neighbourhood never looked so good in the sunshine.  People were out having a great time, visiting homes, viewing art, live music, great street food, a real festival feel.  Good ole Bristol! I love living here.

Meet the Stockist - 19 Alexandra Road, Clevedon

Back in early December, I drove out of Bristol to the beautiful Victorian seaside town of Clevedon.  To meet the lovely Saunders sisters, my new stockists, at their shop 19 Alexandra Road.

The shop is situated on a beautiful leafy street just up from the old Victorian pier.  With views overlooking the park, the shop is a delight.  Full of GORGEOUS homewares.  Vintage glass bottles, handmade ceramics, prints, vintage books, furniture.  It is just perfect!

Becky and Victoria source unique vintage pieces from various local dealers and handmade craft items from local and national artists.  The feel of the shop is so welcoming, I had trouble leaving!  Wanting to take most of the stock with me.  

I did take the large brown bottle above. You might remember it in my Christmas posts, sitting proudly on my mantel.  Whilst I was there, I took many shots of the shop and asked Becky and Victoria a little about themselves....

Who are you & what do you do? 
We are Victoria and Becky Saunders or Saunders Creative. We have recently opened a new Vintage and Artisan emporium '19' in Clevedon, with our Design studio situated in the back half of the emporium. Saunders Creative produces bespoke vinyl cut designs for commercial projects, commissions and a range of products; which include hand adhered designs for prints and cards, and decals for decorating walls, mirrors & furniture. With both of our creative backgrounds and experience in retail visual merchandising expanding our business to open a shop lend itself well. 

What is your inspiration behind opening the shop? 
Our new emporium '19' is a mix of all the things we love. We wanted to bring individual pieces together in one collection to showcase our style and share it with others who love an eclectic mix of beautiful items in their homes. The emporium hosts a collection of Vintage and hand crafted interior pieces made by local makers. Situated in Clevedon, an old Victorian seaside town, the emporium couldn’t be in a more suitable place to bring Vintage into the contemporary home of our customers. Since we were very young, we have always had a dream to work together. Now we can pull our experiences and skills into one creative force, the Emporium, 19 and design studio is the result. 

How would you describe the feel of your shop? 
We wanted 19 to have a gallery / home interior feel so that when you step through the door, you were inspired. Styled displays give the customer a real sense of the pieces in the interior setting they are made for or a reuse. The interior of the emporium is constantly changing as both of us have backgrounds in Visual merchandising. We have a passion for beautiful displays and wanted each individual item  to have the space to be admire and see its unique detail. Every item in our emporium comes with a story whether it be Vintage or handmade. We want the emporium to celebrate this. 

Tell us some of your favourite pieces /designers you stock? 
Becky: A few of my favourites include the ceramics by Hans Borgonjon with beautiful metallic details, 'Misty dew' photography by Sophie Travis, who was a fellow university student and the Vintage rulers. 
Victoria: My favourite Vintage pieces are a Worcester vase with fern leaf design and an oversized bell jar, both I have to resisting taking home. We also stock furniture & my favourite piece in store today is an old school desk. I’ve taken home two prints for my walls at home one was a botanical print by Lou Archell & the other a bell jar illustration by Claire Owen.

What do you love most about what you do? 
That it combines everything we love doing in to a job. We love styling & merchandising. We love designing our own products & buying Vintage. 

Please tell us about your current loves... 
Homes / Interiors:
We believe that your home is an extension of yourself. That it reflects your life, loves and personality. A home interior is very personal and showcases the stories and history behind the person. We have slightly different loves.
Victoria: I love faded florals, botantics and Victorian romance.
Becky: I love geometrics and raw materials like concrete but the overall feel is eclectic, full with attention to detail with a mix of old and new! 

Becky: I love following blogs, they are great for keeping me inspired. My favourite, at the moment is 'a merry mishap', I love her DIY projects and her home is styled beautifully. She is a mum, blogger, stylist and jewellery maker, wow!.

Victoria: Etc, Creative walls, old classics (the covers are just as beautiful & inspiring as the story), Catherine Batola all super inspiring and add to the displays in my home.

Where are you based and why should we visit? 
We are based in Clevedon, North Somerset. Clevedon is the destination for that unexpected day out, here you can walk along the seafront, admiring the views of the restored Victorian pier and of course pop in to our emporium. Where you will find that unique home accessory either Vintage or handcrafted, also you can get a glimpse into our working design studio, which we are trying to keep tidy!!

Thank you ladies!  I LOVE your shop.  I cannot wait to pop back in a few weeks (when I've saved my pennies), such beautiful things for the home.  

I really do suggest if you are passing Clevedon via the M4 or live locally in the South West, to pay this shop a visit, it's worth the trip!

01275 340563

The Bristol Lido - Nourish the soul...

Over the Christmas period I suffered with a heavy head cold, making an appearance on Christmas Eve, and stayed like an unwanted guest for days.  Booo!  I felt tired, sluggish and in need of some serious me time.

So the day after Boxing Day, my parents thankfully took the boys, so that Dan and I could spend the day at Bristol Lido.  YAY!  The best present ever, a chance to fully relax and unwind after the stress and overindulgence of the Festive period.

We arrived in the middle of a hail storm, windswept and battered.  Greeted with a smile and a promise to make us better again.  We were shown the upstairs changing rooms, where we removed our clothes and donned thick soft robes and flip flops before taking a seat to wait for our treatment.

Both Dan and I opted for a back, neck, head & facial (although I don't quite know how a facial is done on Dan with all that hair?).  I went into a beautiful, dimly lit and warm room with the sound of the rain lashing down outside.  I was treated to a foot scrub and then a full hour of massage.  Knots were untangled, face was oiled and then washed smooth with warm towels.  I felt new, me, whole again.  I even managed to drift off to sleep for a little while.

After our hour, we taken downstairs to the tea room. Colonial in style, part of the original Lido building before the renovation.  I was settled into a large armchair, and rugged up to keep warm, with a cup of Jasmine Tea to keep me company.  And there I sat, for a good half an hour, with a ridiculously blissed out smile on my face.  Content to lay back and dream.

Fully restored, I put on my bathers and faced the winter weather for a swim.  Heated to a balmy(!?) 25c the water instantly made me intake a sharp breath, but soon I was swimming up and down in the rain, which felt perfectly wild in the middle of the city in the middle of winter.

Several trips to the steam room and hot tub and back in the pool before my stomach started to rumble.  Dan sat in the poolside cafe watching (not brave enough to join me).  I could see he was drinking a coffee, I needed one after my pool excursions!

I showered using the Spa's own shampoo and shower gel, smelling divine, I wandered down to the cafe.  We ate well on tapas followed by several coffees, neither of us wanting to leave such a special place.

The Bristol Lido is the perfect place to find yourself again.  Leave your kids and your worry's at home.  Treat yourself to a spa day.  Take time to be you.  

We will be back....

Santa cycle ride...


A few weekends ago, we took part in the Santa Cycle ride from Mshed on the harbourside, along the river to Ashton Court Estate.  It was pretty perfect.  Sustrans had organised a brilliant family day out.  Using one of the many traffic free cycle routes in and around Bristol, we wove our way in our Father Christmas costumes, in glorious December sunshine.

We hadn't been on a family bike ride for months, just a bit busy.  But as soon as we set off I remembered how much I love it.  Cycling past other people out in the sun, being greeted with smiles at the sight of parents dressed all in red, with billowing beards.

Once at Ashton Court Estate there was a competition, judged by the Mayor, on the best blinged bike.  Some of the entrants were awesome!  The atmosphere was lovely, choir singing, mulled wine, stalls with games and a chance to meet Father Christmas.  The boys received a little backpack filled with bike goodies, a bell, stickers, reflector etc.  They were super happy.

The final icing on the Christmas cake was to feed the deers.  We all walked over the deer enclosure, and shouted 'come on'.  Over the hill ran hundreds of deer.  So close we could touch we all stood in awe of these huge beasts as they feed on nuts.

Cycling home we were greeted with smiles again (forgetting I was wearing a full on Santa costume!).

A perfect day out.  Thank you Sustrans.
For more information have a look at Sustrans page and flickr photos of the day.

The Little Match Girl at the Wardrobe Theatre...

The perfect show for children to see at Christmas must have adventure, humour and a generous dusting of magic and sparkle.  The Little Match Girl at The Wardrobe Theatre here in Bristol has just that.  We were all immediately captivated with the charm of the wind blowing, the beautiful set and the special magical touches (I won't go into it all, you simply must see for yourself!).

The Little Match Girl has been modernised by a newly formed company called Dot & Ethel (one of which, Harriet de Winton, is a lovely friend of mine).  The story tells of a young girl who is eager to find what she is missing as she heads out into the cold in search for her Granny. The hostility of the seasonal shoppers, in search for their next bargain, leaves her lost, alone and frightened until she has a brilliant idea of striking a match. With each strike she is taken out of the cold and into another world. 

Dot & Ethel (aka Harriet and Heidi)
Simply and cleverly told, that even the youngest of the audience were left spellbound by the magic.  I loved the set, papercuts into blinds depicting a series of adventures. Viking long boats, walking boots, snow flakes and windmills.  The cast of two were set for an exploration with 'sturdy walking boots with a touch of glam' and Nordic snowflake bobble hats.

The Wardrobe Theatre (undressed)
The Wardrobe Theatre is a sweetest and intimate of venues.  So small that you can reach out and touch the performers as they walk amongst the audience.  Fully engaging with the children with the use of balloons and lights.

So if you are in need of some Christmas magic, you and your little one will LOVE The Little Match Girl.  I came away with a warm glow and slight tear in my eye.  Beautiful!!!

For more information please have a look here.
Email for tickets
The show runs until Sunday 22nd December - be quick!